Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) has been used for many years to consolidate porosity in cast metal shapes to improve mechanical properties. When applied to fine metal powders, it becomes possible to produce Near Net Shape (NNS) items and more complex geometry components that are fully dense and offer an attractive set of properties and reduced cost. NNS items from powder deliver cost savings by reducing initial material usage and subsequent machining costs. Powder production and HIP processing are automated methods, which also provide protection against forging route obsolescence. Setup costs are lower and batch sizes smaller. HIPped powder microstructures are isotropic and equiaxed, with uniformly fine grain sizes not normally achieved in heavy section components, which facilitates ultrasonic NDE examination. Inclusion contents are lower and of more benign geometry, easing fracture assessment. Use of the technology has grown, particularly in the offshore oil industry where it is already established in high integrity applications, particularly in place of welded joints. Take-up in the more conservative nuclear industry has been slow. The quality of HIPped powder items can provide through life cost savings since there is greater assurance of structural integrity compared to welded or wrought components. In a broad programme of testing, it was established that HIPped powder 316L components, in items up to several tons in weight, have equivalent or slightly better strength, toughness and corrosion resistance. Work has now been extended to Monel 400 nickel-based alloys and Type 304L. The manufacturing technology has been tailored to produce pressure-retaining components in these alloys for prototype testing.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.